A still image from “Radical Cram School” provided to Colorlines on August 14, 2018.Kristina Wong
Imagine a children’s TV show in which an effusive host teaches Asian- and Pacific Islander-American girls media literacy, intersectionality and solidarity. Comedian Kristina Wong makes this vision possible with ”Radical Cram School,” the new independent web series she hosts and co-produces. She released all six episodes on YouTube in mid-August and publishes each on Facebook every week.
In a statement, Wong describes the series as “’Sesame Street’ for the Resistance.” Via email, she tells Colorlines that Liberty, the daughter of co-producer and friend Teddy Chao, inspired the show. ”This was almost a year into the Trump Presidency and [Chao] was worried that Liberty would start internalizing the racist and misogynist rhetoric around his campaign,” Wong explains. “He wanted me to sit down and talk to her and I blurted out, ‘We should make an Asian-American girl Town Hall web series!’ From there, Wong says, they began thinking of ways to equip young Asian girls with tools to resist “the ever-present racism and misogyny of our times.”
Wong counts The Radical Monarchs, an Oakland-based organization that combines anti-oppression education with Girl Scouts aesthetics and uniforms, as an influence. “They create opportunities for young Black and Brown girls to form a sisterhood and radically contribute to their community. I love their work and thought ‘Radical Cram School’ could be a space where Asian girls could learn about social justice and how to be allies to other movements.”
While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues. Rethink your bias at http://www.lovehasnolabels.com
MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — In response to a surge in reports of anti-Muslim bullying — students being called terrorists, having their head scarves ripped off and facing bias even from teachers — schools are expanding on efforts deployed in the past to help protect gays, racial minorities and other marginalized groups.
Civil rights organizations and other advocates have been working more closely with schools since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, stirred a new backlash that led the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Education Department to urge vigilance on the bullying of Muslims.
While stressing that students have rights under the law, and that offenses should be reported, speakers at schools and mosques have also discussed how to create an inclusive culture, how Muslims are scapegoated for attacks and how non-Muslims can be allies to their peers.
“Muslim kids get bulled, gay kids get bullied because other kids are uncomfortable with them, and they show it,” said Bill Howe, a multicultural education specialist who spoke at an anti-bullying forum in December for children at Meriden’s Baitul Aman mosque. “That causes Muslim students to retreat, to be more isolated. They need to develop critical social skills so they can build relationships.”